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Collective Action In The Formation Of Pre Modern States

Author: Richard Blanton
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387738762
Size: 53.67 MB
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Anthropological archaeology and other disciplines concerned with the formation of early complex societies are undergoing a theoretical shift stemming from the realization that the social evolution of complex societies was more varied and complex than imagined. Given the need for new directions in theory, the book proposes that anthropologists look to political science, especially the rational choice theory of collective action. Collective action theorists propose that state formation results from the strategic behavior of rational and self-interested actors who make up the polity, including a political elite and those outside the official structure of the state. The theory proposes that the form taken by a state will depend on the “bargaining power”, of rulers and taxpayers. Where taxpayers have more resources with which to bargain, it is predicted that rulers will concede benefits to taxpayers and will agree to restrictions on their power. The authors subject collective action theory to a methodologically rigorous evaluation using systematic cross-cultural analysis based on a world-wide sample of societies. The results presented here indicate strong support for most elements of the theory, but some results, in particular those pertaining to the control of ruler behavior, suggest the possibility that there are contexts in which collective action may play out in ways not anticipated by the theory. While this type of theoretical modeling is commonly seen in political science research, this volume is unique in its approach from an anthropological and archaeological viewpoint.

The Neighborhood As A Social And Spatial Unit In Mesoamerican Cities

Author: M. Charlotte Arnauld
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816520240
Size: 52.60 MB
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Recent realizations that prehispanic cities in Mesoamerica were fundamentally different from western cities of the same period have led to increasing examination of the neighborhood as an intermediate unit at the heart of prehispanic urbanization. This book addresses the subject of neighborhoods in archaeology as analytical units between households and whole settlements. The contributions gathered here provide fieldwork data to document the existence of sociopolitically distinct neighborhoods within ancient Mesoamerican settlements, building upon recent advances in multi-scale archaeological studies of these communities. Chapters illustrate the cultural variation across Mesoamerica, including data and interpretations on several different cities with a thematic focus on regional contrasts. This topic is relatively new and complex, and this book is a strong contribution for three interwoven reasons. First, the long history of research on the ÒTeotihuacan barriosÓ is scrutinized and withstands the test of new evidence and comparison with other Mesoamerican cities. Second, Maya studies of dense settlement patterns are now mature enough to provide substantial case studies. Third, theoretical investigation of ancient urbanization all over the world is now more complex and open than it was before, giving relevance to Mesoamerican perspectives on ancient and modern societies in time and space. This volume will be of interest not only to scholars and student specialists of the Mesoamerican past but also to social scientists and urbanists looking to contrast ancient cultures worldwide.

How Humans Cooperate

Author: Richard E. Blanton
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 1607325144
Size: 75.34 MB
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In How Humans Cooperate, Richard E. Blanton and Lane F. Fargher take a new approach to investigating human cooperation, developed from the vantage point of an "anthropological imagination." Drawing on the discipline’s broad and holistic understanding of humans in biological, social, and cultural dimensions and across a wide range of temporal and cultural variation, the authors unite psychological and institutional approaches by demonstrating the interplay of institution building and cognitive abilities of the human brain. Blanton and Fargher develop an approach that is strongly empirical, historically deep, and more synthetic than other research designs, using findings from fields as diverse as neurobiology, primatology, ethnography, history, art history, and archaeology. While much current research on collective action pertains to local-scale cooperation, How Humans Cooperate puts existing theories to the test at larger scales in markets, states, and cities throughout the Old and New Worlds. This innovative book extends collective action theory beyond Western history and into a broadly cross-cultural dimension, places cooperation in the context of large and complex human societies, and demonstrates the interplay of collective action and aspects of human cognitive ability. By extending the scope and content of collective action theory, the authors find a fruitful new path to understanding human cooperation.

Craft Production And Social Change In Northern China

Author: Anne P. Underhill
Publisher: Taylor & Francis US
ISBN: 9780306467714
Size: 60.50 MB
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The development of complex societies is a central subject in archaeological research. Using archaeological evidence from the Yellow (Huanghe) River valley in Northern China, this volume examines changes in the culture that occurred during the late Neolithic Period of China and speculates that this development connects to the emergence of civilized societies in this area. Several developments in the culture of the Huanghe Valley that suggest their contribution to the development of complex societies include: -Craft specialization; -Use of prestige goods such as jade, pottery, and bronze; -Display of status through both feasting and mortuary rituals. This work emphasizes the many different approaches that attempt to theorize the development of complex socieites, as well as outlines the approaches and methods used in this research. It will be of interest to archaeologists, cultural and historic anthropologists, ancien Asian historians and Asian preservationists.

Foundations Of Social Inequality

Author: T. Douglas Price
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1489912894
Size: 72.72 MB
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In this authoritative volume, leading researchers offer diverse theoretical perspectives and a wide-range of information on the beginnings and nature of social inequality in past human societies. Their illuminating work investigates the role of status differentiation in traditional archaeological debates and major societal transitions. This volume features numerous case studies from the Old and New World spanning foraging societies to agricultural groups and complex states. Diachronic in view and archaeological in focus, this book will be of significant interest to archaeologists, anthropologists, and students.

The Oxford Handbook Of Comparative Politics

Author: Susan Carol Stokes
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199278480
Size: 51.83 MB
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The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics offers a critical survey of the field of empirical political science through the collection of a set of chapters written by 48 top scholars in the discipline of comparative politics

The Archaeology Of Ethnicity

Author: Siân Jones
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134767935
Size: 33.96 MB
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The question of ethnicity is highly controversial in contemporary archaeology. Indigenous and nationalist claims to territory, often rely on reconstructions of the past based on the traditional identification of 'cultures' from archaeological remains. Sian Jones responds to the need for a reassessment of the ways in which social groups are identified in the archaeological record, with a comprehensive and critical synthesis of recent theories of ethnicity in the human sciences. In doing so, she argues for a fundamentally different view of ethnicity, as a complex dynamic form of identification, requiring radical changes in archaeological analysis and interpretation.

Ancient Oaxaca

Author: Richard Blanton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521577878
Size: 59.64 MB
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Just after 500 B.C., one of the earliest states in the New World developed in the Valley of Oaxaca, in present-day Mexico. The newly created political institution brought in its wake a profound transformation of society and technology. This book investigates the rich archaeological record of the valley in an attempt to throw light on the causes and consequences of these changes.

The Oxford Handbook Of Political Networks

Author: Jennifer Nicoll Victor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190695595
Size: 24.54 MB
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Networks are omnipresent in our natural and social world, and they are at the heart of politics. Relationships of many types drive political institutions, processes, and decision-making. Therefore, it is imperative for the study of politics to include network approaches. Already, these approaches have advanced our understanding of critical questions, such as: Why do people vote? How can people build problem-solving coalitions? How can governments and organizations foster innovations? How can countries build ties that promote peace? What are the most fruitful strategies for disrupting arms or terrorist networks? This volume is designed as a foundational statement and resource. The contributions offer instruction on network theory and methods at both beginner and advanced levels, as well as an assessment of the state-of-the-discipline on a variety of applied network topics in politics. Through this dynamic collection of essays, The Oxford Handbook of Political Networks elucidates how the field is transforming and what that means for the future of political science.

Archaeology And State Theory

Author: Bruce Routledge
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1472504100
Size: 34.41 MB
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After neo-evolutionism, how does one talk about the pre-modern state? Over the past two decades archaeological research has shifted decisively from check-list identifications of the state as an evolutionary type to studies of how power and authority were constituted in specific polities. Developing Gramsci's concept of hegemony, this book provides an accessible discussion of general principles that serve to help us understand and organise these new directions in archaeological research. Throughout this book, conceptual issues are illustrated by means of case studies drawn from Madagascar, Mesopotamia, the Inca, the Maya and Greece.